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Manno, Dubonnet Named to VAB HOF

Induction in December Vermont Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame Banquet

Louie Manno

The Vermont Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Dec. 7 at the Hilton Burlington. The association will give out annual awards recognizing broadcasters’ service and commitment to excellence and induct new members into the Hall of Fame.

Radio personality Louie “Manno in the Morning” Manno and longtime Hall Communications Vice President and General Manager Dan Dubonnet will be inducted this year into the Vermont Association of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Manno came to Vermont from WTIC(FM) in Hartford, Conn., in 1985, bringing his brand of personality-driven local radio to host the morning show on WQCR(FM), now WOKO(FM). He later worked as a morning talk show host and co-owner of WKDR(AM) in Burlington. He has won numerous awards and was an active volunteer for Toys for Kids of Vermont.

Dubonnet began his radio career as a disc jockey in Connecticut and was named program director for Burlington’s WQCR(FM) and WJOY(AM) in 1985, then Hall Communications named him general manager in 1989. Under his leadership, the group added WKOL(FM), WBTZ(FM) and WIZN(FM). Dubonnet’s stations have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity, including Camp Ta-Kum-Ta and the Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care. He has also served multiple terms as VAB president.

Dan Dubonnet

Jeff Shapiro, owner of Great Eastern Radio, has been named the VAB Broadcaster of the Year. Late last year, he purchased five Vermont stations from Nassau Broadcasting in a bankruptcy proceeding. He says he is a strong proponent of local broadcasting and community involvement.

The 2013 edition of the Distinguished Service awards will be presented to Ross Sneyd of Plainfield and Brian Collamore of Rutland.

Sneyd was a panelist on VPT’s “Vermont This Week” for more than 20 years and was a news reporter for VPR for six years, providing coverage and analysis of state government and politics, before leaving broadcast journalism to join National Life in Montpelier earlier this year.

Collamore has been in the Rutland radio market for more than 40 years, starting as a DJ at WHWB(AM/FM). He joined WSYB(AM) in 1974 and has been on the air since, at the Catamount Radio Group’s WSYB, WZRT(FM) and WDVT(FM). He has co-hosted the daily “Proctor Gas Morning Show” since 1995, but his sales career started in 1978, and he was named Catamount’s general sales manager in 2006.

Jenny Day, news reporter at FOX44/ABC22, is this year’s recipient of the Alan Noyes Community Service Award. In 2012, Day took to the airwaves with a number of stories about cancer, including one about her own screening. Her story prompted a station-wide campaign with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness about cancer prevention and early detection.

Judy Anderson of WJJR(FM) in Rutland will also receive a VAB Community Service Award for her work in raising money and awareness in the fight against cancer. Anderson lost her husband to cancer in 2011, motivating her to serve as co-chair for publicity for the Relay for Life of Rutland County. Described by a fellow walk-a-thon volunteer as a “relentless” organizer, she helped the event raise a record $200,000, putting it into the top 10 such events in New England.

The VAB’s third Community Service Award goes to Morrisville’s WLVB(FM). In 2000, WLVB’s Roland Lajoie was approached by local businessman Chris Potter to start a campaign to collect frozen turkeys for needy families on Thanksgiving. The first year, 250 turkeys were collected. Potter died of cancer the next year, so the station renamed the campaign in his honor. Last year, the WLVB Chris’ Challenge Turkey Drive collected 1,344 turkeys and $2,000 cash for five local food bank operators.